God Confirms the words of the Serpent

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D. Paul

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have been reading Van Til A Defense of the Faith. He made reference to the thought of Hegel, so for further help on Hegel, I turned to Modern Christian Thought from the Enlightenment to Vatican II by James C. Livingston, a very useful book. In it, he addresses Hegel and the Fall and uses a quote from Hegel: "...when God saw that Adam had eaten of that tree he said, 'Behold Adam is becomeas one of us, knowing Good and Evil.' God confirms the words of the Serpent." (p 151, Italics added)

By the simple reading of the text, it does indeed appear that this is the case because that phrase is first spoken by the Serpent and then repeated by God, but God confirmed the words? Hegel or no Hegel, that smells funny.


Puritan Board Doctor

But the serpent (the Devil) presented the prospect of knowing Good and Evil as a Good for Man, which it clearly was not. All the best lies have a core of truth. The Devil is the most sophisticated of liars.

Also although it is true that God knew Good and Evil in a way that Man did not - Man not knowing of either the experience of or the commission of Evil, and therefore not knowing also Good in the light of Evil - God knew Good thoroughly both subjectively and objectively.

On the other hand, God knew Evil thoroughly objectively, whereas God has never known Evil subjectively, in the true sense. God cannot sin or deny Himself.

I'm sure the Van Tillians and other philosophers among us may have some things to say about how God knows all things and yet doesn't "subjectively" (if that is the correct expression!) know evil! Different types of knowledge (?)


Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
To me, the divine statement sounds very ironic. Put little "quote" marks about it, if you please.

Man did come to know good and evil, but as Richard points out, not in the way that God knows evil at all. In fact, by not-eating the tree in obedience to God's command, Adam would have attained a far more "God-like" knowledge of good an evil than that which he achieved (a dubious achievement).
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